EU private litigation

Working Group Members

Download a list of working group members

Working Group Submissions

Comments on the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) Discussion Paper: Private Actions in Competition Law - Effective Redress For Consumers and Business

The Working Group submitted in October 2007, a detailed set of Comments on the Office of Fair Trading (OFT)’s Discussion Paper. Please view the submission

Submission regarding the European Commission’s Green Paper on Damages Actions for breach of the EC Antitrust Rules.

In July 2006, the EU Private Litigation Working Group, established by the Antitrust Committee, made the Final Submission regarding the European Commission’s Green Paper on Damages Actions for breach of the EC Antitrust Rules. This submission is made further to the Working Group’s initial submission of 14 July 2005.

In July 2005 and in anticipation of the publication of the Green Paper, the Working Group made a Submission to the Commission focusing on various issues which are likely to facilitate or discourage private antitrust litigation in Europe.

In support of the contributions made in the Submission (above) and to provide the Commission with background material, which may be of assistance to the Commission in finalising the Green Paper, the following working papers, prepared by various individual, or teams of, members of the Working Group, were also transmitted to the Commission, namely:

  1. a review of discovery in the USA
  2. brief comparative comments from an English law perspective
  3. a review of contingency fees in the USA
  4. a paper which draws on US experience, in respect of various aspects of private antitrust litigation, to explore possible alternatives which might be considered as part of the Commission's consultation
  5. a paper addressing the impact on business and consumers of the excesses of private litigation, again drawing heavily on US experience
  6. reviews of various aspects of private antitrust litigation in Australia, Canada and Ireland.
  7. a paper on the rules of jurisdiction in civil and commercial matters in Europe.
  8. an overview of various issues related to the adjudication of private competition law disputes through arbitration in lieu of the ordinary civil courts

The supporting papers are part of the Working Group's work-in-progress and reflect the experience and views of their respective authors; they have not been adopted as position papers of the Working Group or, therefore, of the Antitrust Committee, which may, or may not, wish to take a position on various of the issues addressed in subsequent submissions to the Commission.

IBA members who have comments on the Submission, the supporting papers or the issues being examined as part of the European Commission's initiative should contact

EU Private Enforcement General

Actions for Damages - Green Paper

On 19 December 2005, the Commission adopted a Green Paper and a Commission Staff Working Document on Damages Actions for Breach of the EC antitrust rules. The public consultation will last until 21 April 2006.

GREEN PAPER - Damages actions for breach of the EC antitrust rules.

Press release IP/05/1634 - Commission launches consultations on facilitating damages claims for breaches of EU competition law.

Memo 05/489 - European Commission Green Paper on damages actions for breach of EC Treaty anti-trust rules - frequently asked questions.

Speeches and Articles

Damages Actions for Breaches of EU Competition Rules: Realities and Potentials
Neelie KROES, Cour de Cassation, Paris, 17 October 2005

Private litigation as a key complement to public enforcement of competition rules and the first conclusions on the implementation of the new Merger Regulation Mario MONTI, IBA - 8th Annual Competition Conference, Fiesole, Italy, 17 September 2004

Private enforcement of Community competition law: modernisation and the road ahead
Donncadh Woods, Ailsa Sinclair and David Ashton, Directorate-General Competition, unit A-1.

Study on the conditions of claims for damages in case of infringement of EC competition rules (Ashurst Report)


Global Competition Review, Modernisation = flawed success, 11 March 2005

Loyola Consumer Law Review, The Future for Private Rights of Action in Antitrust, Special Issue, Volume 16, No. 4

Patricia Hanh Rosochowicz , Deterrence and the Relationship between public and private enforcement of competition law, 17 February 2005

Julian Joshua, Competition law enforcement Criminalisation, Cartels, Leniency and Class Actions: A Look into the Future, Competition Law Insight, 12 October 2004

Charles E. Koob, David Vann, Jr. and Arman Y. Oruc, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, Developments in Private Enforcement of Competition Laws, January 2004

European Competition Day 2004, Speaking notes on private enforcement by Pieter Kalbfleisch, Director General Nederlandse Mededingingsautoriteit (Netherlands Competition Authority)

Aimee Goldstein, Elizabeth Morony, James Hosking and Sarah Keene, 'Private antitrust remedies: Part I' - G.C. Competition Handbook 2001 Pg 107

Elizabeth Morony, Ingrid Cope, 'Private antitrust remedies' - GC, 2003, VIII (2), 32

John Taladay, Partner, Howrey LLP, with assistance from Crystal Witterick, Partner, Blakes, Cassels & Graydon, Summary of Discussion Points Presented by the Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) to the OECD at the OECD Competition Committee Roundtable on Competition on the Merits, 1 June 2005

Rufus A. Ogilvie Smals, Vice Chair of the BIAC Competition Committee, Chairman of the CBI Competition Panel and Head of the Group Legal Department of GKN plc, Summary of Discussion Points Presented by the Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) to the OECD at the OECD Competition Committee Working Party No. 3 Roundtable on Private Remedies: Discovery and Gathering of Evidence, 31 May 2005

Neelie Kroes, Enhancing Actions for Damages for Breach of Competition Rules in Europe, Dinner Speech at the Harvard Club, New York, 22 September 2005

Neelie Kroes, Damages Actions for Breaches of EU Competition Rules: Realities and Potentials, Opening speech at the conference ‘La reparation du prejudice cause par une pratique anti-concurentielle en France et à l’étranger : bilan et perspectives ’, Cour de Cassation, Paris, 17 October 2005

Articles by Country


Christian Miege, Remedies and Sanctions in Competition Policy: The Role of Private Enforcement of Competition Law in the EU and the German Attempts in the 7th Ammenmend of the GWB, 17 February 2005

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Wolfgang Wurmnest, A New Era for Private Antitrust Litigation in Germany? A Critical Appraisal of the Modernized Law against Restraints of Competition, 6 German Law Journal (August 2005), pp. 1173-1190

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Francisco Marcos, The Enforcement of Spanish Antitrust Law: A critical Assesment of the Fines Setting Policy and of the Legal Framework for Private Enforcement Actions, 1 February 2005

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United Kingdom

Stephen Wisking, Private Enforcement: The Current Landscape, Herbert Smith, 15 March 2005

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Matthew Weiniger, Bringing/defending a private enforcement action, Herbert Smith, 15 March 2005

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United States

William E. Kovacic, Private Participation in the Enforcement of Public Competition Laws, British Institution of International & Comparative Law, Third Annual Conference on International and Comparative Competition Law: The Transatlantic Antitrust Dialogue, London, 15 May 2003.

Global Competition Review, Trends in antitrust litigation: the new breed of class action, The Antitrust Practice Group, Howrey Simon Arnold & White LLP

Donald I. Baker, Revisiting History--What Have We Learned About Private Antitrust Enforcement That We Would Recommend To Others? 16 Loy. Consumer L. Rev. 379

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Recent Decisions

CFI Judgment of 13-04-2005 in Case T-2/03 between Verein fur Konsumenteninformation v Commission.

The full text of the judgment can be found on the website of the Court of First Instance.